Feb 16, 2010, 7:48 PM EDT
There’s a new, very rich owner coming to the New Jersey Nets, and that has led to some wild dreams. But the reality appears to be that Rod Thorn is staying on president and decision maker with the Nets. In the last couple of days he has been in Vancouver meeting with incoming owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
And the Russian businessman, whose purchase of the Nets is pending league approval, “is not bringing the guy all the way to British Columbia just to fire him,” according to one person familiar with content and tone of the meeting, who required anonymity to speak candidly. “They love Rod…”
Among the topics that will be dissected are coaching candidates, the game plan for free agency, how those two decisions are tied together, and how he envisions the team’s options if they don’t land the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Everything is second hand, but all those same reports say that Thorn and the new owners are a great fit and get along well.
If Thorn stays — which is seeming more and more likely — then the next question is who coaches? While all sorts of flashy names have been thrown out there, the most common name is ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy. His teams have always been competitive and played good defense, and that is a great place to start for a team that needs a rebuild from top to bottom. They would need to lure Van Gundy out of the booth, but Prokhorov has the money to do that easily.
He has the money to make a lot of changes with the Nets, but is smart to trust Thorn to do so wisely.